By Livia Peterson
Fox Searchlight Pictures acquired Nate Parker’s debut film for $17.5 million at the Sundance Film Festival. “The Birth of a Nation” received extremely premature and unnecessary Awards buzz and accordingly, it does not live up to the unreasonable expectations.
Parker’s accusation of raping an unidentified woman at the Penn State University recently resurfaced. Ignore the sexual abuse scandal during the screening. The filmmaker’s personal life should not interfere with the film experience. “The Birth of a Nation” could moderately resolve the #OscarsSoWhite controversy; however, this is an undesirable movie to fix the problem (perhaps wait to witness “Moonlight”).
Similarly, Fox Searchlight Pictures delivered the masterful “12 Years a Slave” (2013). It’s safe to assume the studio considered “The Birth of a Nation” would provide the identical results. Absolutely wrong.
The literate slave and preacher Nat Turner (Parker) organizes the rebellion against Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer) and various slave owners in the antebellum South. Elizabeth Turner (Penelope Ann Miller) instructs Mr. Turner how to read (specifically the Bible) during the childhood.
“The Birth of a Nation” dazzles during the subtle moments – the remarkable performances and relevant narrative. Whereas “12 Years a Slave” provides constant fervent oomph, “The Birth of a Nation” barely attempts to elicit sobs, particularly during the slave rebellion sequence. The nonexistent emotional resonance establishes the one dimensional feature film. Formidable introductory and final sequences; however, tedious and dozy midpoint section.
“The Birth of a Nation” reinforces diversity and inclusion. Hollywood is a white male driven industry: Slow progress is superior to no improvement. Let’s hope the #OscarsSoWhite trend will not occur once more during the 89th Academy Awards. “The Birth of a Nation” confirms premature Awards buzz does not result to the anticipated outcome. B-